Bangor Vineyard: Loyalty Program Review
26 April 2024
Emma Inglis

Recently, there has been an increase in subscription-based wine loyalty programs, examples including Good Pair Days, Wine Selectors and Naked Wines. These programs provide members with deliveries of curated wines, often tailored to individual tastes and preferences. This industry is highly competitive, with these loyalty programs competing against large retailers such as BWS and Dan Murphy’s for consumer attention and loyalty.

Bangor is also a player in this space, offering a subscription-based wine loyalty program. Bangor Vineyard Shed is a family-owned vineyard, restaurant, and function venue, located 45 minutes from Hobart CBD in Dunalley Tasmania. It is one of the most southerly vineyards in the world, spanning 8 hectares of vines growing pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay grapes. Customers can enjoy wine and food from locally sourced produce, participate in wine tasting, or learn about Bangor’s history and property in a vineyard tour.

Wine Club

Bangor’s loyalty program, Wine Club is a subscription-based program which has two tiers – the 1642 and the 1830 Wine Club. It offers premium wine; each bottle ranging from $40 – $110.

The Wine Club is free to join, and all members receive free shipping, complementary wine tasting and special offers. The main difference between the two tiers is the bottles purchased per year and the associated discounts. The 1642 tier requires members to purchase 12 bottles quarterly, and they’re rewarded with a 15% discount on food and wine purchases. Meanwhile, members of the 1830 tier commit to purchasing only 6 bottles quarterly and subsequently receive a 5% discount on food and wine selections.

How to join the loyalty program

Members create an account by choosing which tier they want to join as well as sharing their personal details including their billing address and payment information. Then, they agree to receiving automatic wine club shipments on each release date for a minimum of 12 months.

How the loyalty program works

After joining the program, members receive an email every quarter regarding their Wine Club shipments, including details such as price and the type of wine. Bangor selects an assortment of wine for all members, although members can log into their account and change their selection if desired.

The most recent shipment is referred to as the ‘Autumn Wine Club’ release, which offers two new release wines – the 2023 Lagoon Bay Riesling and the 2022 “1830” Chardonnay. Overall, the Autumn release costs 1830 Club members $237.50 for 6 bottles, including the 5% discount. This equates to $40 per bottle and approx. $1000 per year. For 1642 Club members, they pay approx. $1712 for 48 bottles annually, equating to $36 per bottle, including the 15% discount.

What are they doing well and how can they improve?

1. Rewards could be enhanced

Bangor’s Wine Club members are spending $1000 or more, yet their main benefit for joining the program is either a 5% or 15% discount on food and wine. While monetary rewards can be attractive and they can inspire customers to join the program, they can also be unmemorable and unemotional transactions that fail to differentiate the loyalty program from others in the market. Bangor could enhance their program by including more experiential rewards in conjunction with the discount to better engage their members. Currently, they offer the members of their highest tier a tour of the vineyard, an experiential and cost-efficient reward that is complementary to the brand.

2. Host a monthly competition

Bangor has a cottage known as the ‘Bangor Cottage’, which is not available to the public, and can only be used by Wine Club members and groups that book a wedding or function with Bangor. The two-bedroom cottage is situated in the heart of the farm with a scenic view of Blackman Bay. This is what Loyalty & Reward Co consider is an X-factor in a loyalty program which is a distinctive feature of the program design that differentiates the whole program, providing a competitive edge. This can be a unique reward, benefit or mechanic that serves as a differentiator for their program, driving engagement and complimenting the brand. To learn more about the X-factor, read this blog.

Bangor could leverage this cottage by offering it as a prize in a monthly raffle. Each bottle purchased counts towards a raffle ticket, giving members the chance to win a few nights stay at the Bangor Cottage. This offer could be available to monthly winners for 12 months. Offering the cottage as a reward that would have otherwise been empty is considered an efficient reward as it is low-cost to the business and has high perceived value to members. This offering will also enhance the rewards value and further engage members to the program.

3. Leverage their local partners to increase the rewards value

Their partners offer experiences such as a helicopter picnic lunch at a private beach at Bangor, a full e-bike adventure around the estate, and oyster tasting at Blue Lagoon. These experiences can be given to members at a discounted price, or as a prize to the member who buys the most bottles of wine in a given month or year.

Many brands are moving away from the earn and burn model and focusing on providing experiential rewards to their members. This is because fun, enjoyable experiences stimulate a part of the brain that cash does not. Rewards such as an e-bike adventure go beyond standard rewards to build lasting memories and positive emotional connections, acting to develop attitudinal commitment (Shelper, 2023).

4. Differentiate the tiers

There is minimal distinction in rewards between the two tiers. This lack of differentiation diminishes members’ motivation to upgrade and provides little incentive to increase their basket size. The program could offer more valuable rewards to the higher tier.

5. Create an extra tier for all customers

Currently, members need to commit $1000 to join the Wine Club. Bangor could create an extra tier which is free to join for all customers, including those that eat at the Bangor restaurant. This new tier including all customers will also enhance the exclusivity of the other two tiers.

Concluding thoughts

Wine Club is simple and straightforward to understand, but it’s not vastly different compared to other wine loyalty programs. While discounts are the primary incentive for signing up, they can be cost-inefficient and lack emotional appeal. To enhance the program, Bangor should capitalise on its assets, such as the Bangor Cottage, and unveil their X-factor. When loyalty program members receive exclusive benefits like access to distinctive experiences or personalised rewards, it not only adds tangible value but also strengthens their emotional connection to the brand. Bangor’s focus should extend beyond mere transactions to cultivate meaningful relationships, transforming members into passionate advocates who proudly support the brand.

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<a href="" target="_self">Emma Inglis</a>

Emma Inglis

Emma is a Strategy Consultant at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Emma has previously worked with top tier management consulting companies such as Bain, BCG, and Mckinsey supporting their market research. Emma applies her skills in all aspects of the business including loyalty program design, lifecycle strategy, market research and member engagement.

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